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Wednesday, April 12, 2023
2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)
James R. Johnson a.k.a. “Frenchy” or “Jimmy”, 76, of Powell, was called home to be with the Lord on April 5, 2023, with family by his side.
Jimmy was born on January 12, 1947, to Cyprien and Marice Pitre Johnson in Eunice, Louisiana. Jimmy knew all about hard work from a young age. Jimmy learned his work ethic by holding onto his mom’s dress while working alongside her in the cotton fields and when working for a local grocery store. As a young man and into his late 20’s, Jimmy worked in the construction and pipeline industries. Jimmy was one to tell tall tales and entertain his company. His laugh was contagious, and his smile always brightened the room. Jimmy was always an outgoing person, from a very young age, he was much like his own dad; always looking for a good time with music and dancing with beautiful women.
Jimmy left home in the early 70’s, heading west to Wyoming where he worked miscellaneous jobs until beginning his career in the oil field. Jimmy, the French speaking Cajun, from Louisiana quickly became known as Frenchy around his community in Wyoming.
After moving to Wyoming, Frenchy met and married his late wife Diane McGrath, whom he lost to cancer after 30 years of marriage, in 2004. After losing Diane, Frenchy never thought he would find love again until he ran into is longtime neighbor, Kelly Hatch, and he was blindsided by love once again. Frenchy and Kelly were united in marriage on December 11, 2005, at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God church. Frenchy was proud to have the Assembly of God as his home church. Frenchy welcomed Kelly’s two daughters Elizabeth and Laura as his own when he married her. Frenchy was proud of all of his children.
Frenchy brought some of his Louisiana/Cajun culture with him when he moved to Wyoming. He enjoyed cooking and sharing recipes with new friends. Frenchy found himself unable to quit working after retirement, so he found himself plowing parking lots while driving his bright orange Kubota with his flags flying in the wind. Frenchy could often be found fixing up his house or collecting old cars. Frenchy found joy delivering his fresh baked banana bread or donuts around to the hospital, care center, police station, fire department, etc. to thank them for the services they provide to our community and to him personally. He enjoyed inviting friends and family over for a big bowl of Gumbo. Frenchy was truly a man who would give you the shirt of his back if you needed one.
Frenchy is preceded in death by his parents, wife Diane, brothers; JD, Lawrence, Marcelle; sisters; Mary Lou and LouAnna, and the mother of his children, Linda.
Frenchy is survived by his wife Kelly; his sons Dominic (Angie) Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana and Ronald Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana; his daughters Mary (Robert) Sheppard of Lafayette, Louisiana, Elizabeth (Brian) Zitting of Powell, and Laura (AJ) Billiu of Powell; his brother Johnny (Lola) Johnson of Eunice, Louisiana; sister Bertha (Joe) Janice; 5 grandchildren; and 2 great grandchildren.
Funeral services for Frenchy will be Wednesday, April 12 at 2:00pm at the Glad Tidings Assembly of God church in Powell. The service can be streamed through the Glad Tidings Church Facebook page. There will be a viewing from 12:00pm to the time of service at the church.
Graveside services will be held Thursday, April 13 at 2:00pm at Crown Hill Cemetery. Precession starts from Thompson Funeral Home at 1:30pm.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Boys and Girls club to honor Frenchy by helping our local youth.